In somewhat belated news (by about two months, ahem), there is a stunning Tulip Festival down in Woodburn every spring. The weekend that we went on April 12th was the apex of the blooming season and we were utterly stunned. Tulips. Daffodils. Wooden shoes. So great.
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, Oregon is the place to be in April. They have delicious food carts and plenty of tents of activities for children, which are incidentals to the tulip event, but it helps to complete the trip.
And, oh yeah, let's not forget the matter of an earring giveaway! Thanks to everyone for entering! Come back for more giveaways because, honestly, your odds of winning are pretty darn good. The winner of a pair of garnet and pearl earrings is my friend SJ! Hooray, S! You were right about the earring giveaway being a positive of my moving away.
Back to the tulip festival, here are lots and lots of photos. My friend KH asked when these would be coming and I have to tell you, K, that I will email you more photos of cute S.
Can you see this adorable little train below? Each car is decorated like a wooden shoe.
There's nothing like a little friendly competition...
...until it turns less friendly, more out-for-blood win-or-die. I love the photo below that shows the drive my son has to never be bested by anyone, even if they are indeed better than him.
So my daughter decided to exclude her brother, synonymous with mean and horrible in her vocabulary, and just skip around with the girls.
Do you like the solid rows or the multicolor patches better? I can't decide.
Actually, who needs to decide? We just need to dance in them.
If there's one thing that I will passionately remember about Portland, it's how vibrantly things grow here. It's monikered the City of Roses for a very good reason and boy do those roses melt my heart. Every time I see one, which is like every second here in Portland, I feel like I'm seeing a rose for the first time. Oregon does tulips with the same flair and style (and lilacs and rhododendrons and dogwoods and camellias and magnolias and berry bushes and daffodils...). And so, exhaling a languid sigh, I just have to say that I love you, Oregon.
For the flower lovers, you'll definitely watch to hit the International Rose Test Garden in June (I almost died with exhileration) and the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens in May around Mother's Day or before. Sadly, we went once the blossoms had mostly fallen off the week after and I didn't have the camera on me. It demands a redo. What surprised me is how exotic and tropical the garden looks. The brightly colored rhododenron blooms and their twisted trunks placed in all of the emerald lushness felt like a more equatorial setting. That other-worldliness was complete with old stone bridges, tinkling waterfalls, and marshy ponds. Just amazing.
For anyone who does head down to the Tulip Festival next year, you'll want to stop at the small fruit/market stand called B & P Hitz that's just around the bend. And even if you can only visit the tulip fields once a year, you can always order tulip and daffodil bulbs from the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm throughout the year.
What will I miss even more than the gorgeous flowers? The friends I've made throughout my life who are, oddly, congregated to this area. I've been able to reconnect with friends from Oklahoma, Cincinnati and even high school. It was with my dear old high school friend that I visited the tulip festival. This will probably never happen again. And to top if off, I even got to make new friends here. Such a sweet year we've had here. And to anyone who was wondering, we'll be moving to St. Louis, Missouri in two weeks! Life is always full of surprises and changes, isn't it?